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Thoreau's Pumpkins
Ginny Lowe Connors

It is thought that Henry David Thoreau was the first American to plant Potiron Jaune Grosse, a variety of large yellow pumpkin.

 Six seeds from France began it all.
            No abracadabra required, no alacazam—
            just a bit of manure, some hoeing,
            a little rain, and patience.
Where never they were seen before
            my giant pumpkins grow.
            Thick, prickly vines, green glossy leaves—and look!
            Over 100 pounds this one is, a marvel, a golden throne!
Seated upon it, content is what I am
            in the lovely light of clear bright days,
            meadowlarks for company,
            clouds floating by—angels in billowing skirts.
Farmers at Middlesex Fair gaze in awe
            as a juggler draws ribbons from his throat,
            though it’s all deception. What amazes me
            is how the earth blazes with sunflowers and sun fruits.
Townswomen shut themselves in cushioned rooms
            thick with malarial air.
            They hold hands in the dark
            hoping to hear from the dead.          
As for me, I look out at the pond
            listen to the gossip of bees, tend my garden.
            I have great faith in a seed—
            it prepares me to expect wonders.

© by Ginny Lowe Connors.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Note: Some phrases in this poem come from Thoreau’s manuscript, Wild Fruits.



Ginny Lowe Connors is a retired English teacher and the author of four full-length poetry collections, the most recent being Without Goodbyes: From Puritan Deerfield to Mohawk Kahnawake (Turning Point, 2021). Her chapbook, Under the Porch, won the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, and she has earned numerous awards for individual poems. As publisher of her own press, Grayson Books, Ginny has also edited a number of poetry anthologies, including Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry. She is co-editor of Connecticut River Review. Learn more about her at






Post New Comment:
I love the creative use of the source material! Love the phrase "gossip of bees".
Posted 10/10/2022 08:39 PM
Yes. How easy to ignore the wonders around us while we gape at the mundane.
Posted 10/10/2022 08:25 PM
Gardening provides many lessons!
Posted 10/10/2022 03:21 PM
Nabby Dog:
This is a delightful poem to read on an autumn morning. The final two lines are especially wonderful to ponder as I observe so many porches with pumpkins on my street!
Posted 10/10/2022 03:18 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful poem. Great beginning and ending.
Posted 10/10/2022 01:42 PM
What amazes me is how the earth blazes with sunflowers and sun fruits..
Posted 10/10/2022 01:15 PM
I am in awe of nature and the people who notice the miracles of it all around us!! Yes!!! Expect wonders!! Great poem.
Posted 10/10/2022 10:48 AM
Biggest pumpkin thus far was 2702 pounds Cork. Details here:
Posted 10/10/2022 10:06 AM
What is the record for the largest pumpkin?
Posted 10/10/2022 09:07 AM
Angela Hoffman:
Faith in a seed! And who doesn't love a pumpkin! A great poem.
Posted 10/10/2022 09:02 AM
Larry Schug:
A very nice and original seasonal poem. I absolutely love the final stanza.
Posted 10/10/2022 08:21 AM

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